Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Morning Reading: "some other gift the tree might hold"

by Natasha Trethewey

All day I’ve listened to the industry
of a single woodpecker, worrying the catalpa tree
just outside my window. Hard at his task,

his body is a hinge, a door knocker
to the cluttered house of memory in which
I can almost see my mother’s face.

She is there, again, beyond the tree,
its slender pods and heart-shaped leaves,
hanging wet sheets on the line — each one

a thin white screen between us. So insistent
is this woodpecker, I’m sure he must be
looking for something else — not simply

the beetles and grubs inside, but some other gift
the tree might hold. All day he’s been at work,
tireless, making the green hearts flutter.


Trethewey was named U.S. Poet Laureate this week. 

(woodcut of woodpecker by Betsy Bowen. )


Lou said...

For the door knocker, she deserves the honor.

Rebel Girl said...


Plus she made me look up that word "limen."

Thanks for reading.

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